Real talk: I’ve never been to Northern California. I was born in San Diego and, thusly, I’m genetically predisposed to an attraction toward sunlight, sandy beaches, and un-ironically dropping “bro” and “dude” into every sentence. That’s just how it works. Srry-not-srry.
But that’s not to say I can’t fux with the colder, darker, deathier side of existence, though. I mean goddamn, I work at Мишка, breh; supplier of all things destruction and mayhem. And that’s why I’m telling you, not asking you, San Francisco, to gaze into the void this Saturday, where 120 Minutes & Lights Down Low are putting on a deathsquad graverave that’ll be sure to please even the iciest, most leather-claddiest, rivet-head-with-a-candy-kid-soul-iest motherfuckers.
Cold Cave, Brenmar, Boyd Rice/NON, and Jokers of The Scene will all be there to fuel your darkrave, coldwave, neo-noise experience. Wear your finest, drink your water, make a friend, kill your enemies, and make us all here at Мишка proud. Sending all ya’ll over in SF weird vibes to get the night right.
Stream some shit you’re about to get into below, and see if you can combine ball-dancing, twerking, and gothstepping into a unified theory of dance. Then send me the results. Winners get the videos shown to my friends at parties.
120 Minutes & Lights Down Low Present
Saturday, June 15th, Midnight
161 Erie Street
San Francisco, CA
Remember When Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste were bringing back thrash during, like, the early 00s? It was fun for a minute, but got super corny really quickly. There’s only so many tracks about radioactive zombies and Satanic keggers I can handle; and the DIY cover art got a little too DIY at times…
Power Trip approaches their chosen genre with the same mentality as the old souls of vengeful, angry, violent thrash from the 80s. Exceedingly fast-paced, maniacal, chainsaw riffs; snare-heavy, almost-but-not-quite D-beat drumming; and vocals that have more in common with hardcore than death/black metal. Less growl, more “fuck you, we didn’t ask to be born” rage. You’ve def got some crossover going on here, but not nearly as much as, say, DRI or MOD, who still maintained a light-heartedness in their music. Power Trip’s got more of that urban decay sound; where day-to-day oppression is par for the course.
Their latest album, Manifest Decimation, dropped on ye olde Soundcloud yesterday, so you can stream the entire thing below. If you like it, buy it, but as per their interview, they’re all just really stoked that they’re making some waves in a scene that too often gets over-saturated with the same damned sounds all the time.
The weekend is fast approaching, and while you’re no doubt working hard on the perfect playlist for a night of strange clouds and strong drank, you’re missing a key component. That is, Abgohard just dropped a new cut, “Plenty”, and we’re the only ones who can get you the hook up. Why? Because, we care. We care that your party pops off.
Play this track during that special time of the night where literally everybody is past buzzed, and on the fast-track to drunk n’ idgaf. When the grind sesh in the living room doesn’t need to be well lit anymore. Where the mixed drinks in the kitchen have metamorphosized into a line of shots for you and the five girls surrounding you.
Stream after the jump, and be sure to watch Abgohard’s “What Race” as an appropriate lesson in how to deal with your actions the morning following the rager you’re about to throw.
Ya been snoozin’ if you haven’t been playing El-P + Killa Mike’s Fool’s Gold collab effort called Run The Jewels. Shit’s poppin’ and has been making the rounds on the blog circuit for a minute.
Separately, though, the duo just put out a new track for the weirdos over at Williams Street. People been finally gettin on that keygen/demoscene game finally, and El-P is showcasing some obvious Internet-underworld influences here; 8-bit, arpeggiated blips and bass notes that sound like they were straight up lifted from a NES cartridge. Killa Mike gets his rap game on and really seems to be on this tip about hot girls, cars, and encouraging others not to fuck with him or his crew.
Hit up the stream below for some choice rapping over a cracktro beat.
Do you pride yourself on the knowing what, where, when, and why to dance to the freshest jams? Do you happily avoid roided-out, whompstep clubs; instead finding where the beautiful people go to float around the dance floor together, movin’ your body to the paragons of nu-90s synth/rave/trance/house? Do you spend your days fuxchxing w/ rendering software, painstakingly crafting your newest 3D clipart Twitter background? Are you wearing alien head jewelry in any form, right now? Are you unabashedly goth? A child of the Clinton years?
If you were all like, “hell yeah”, to any of that, then hopefully you live in Chicago where you can hit up the one and only Club Berlin in the coming weeks. On June 27th, the place is gonna pop off with Total Therapy, the event put together by the same masterminds who brought you #CULT (R.I.P.) Teen Witch Fan Club, DJ Pluto, Claire Van Eijk, VIRTUAL BRAT, and special guest Wavy Spice will all be there to help guide you through the swirling miasma of sub-cultures that is Total Therapy.
In fact, to get you started, DJ Pluto premiered this brand, brand, brand new mix full of chilled-out infomercial-wave; old-school house; night beats; and soulful, sultry, sensual disco symphonies to get your VIP night right. I kinda freaked out when I saw the set list, and then I got really bummed because I can’t make it out to Chicago this month. But maybe soon. Maybe I’ll ambassador the shit outta ya’ll in the near future.
JK The Reaper (neé Rapper) dropped his new mixtape, Ill Life 2, the other day, helping to put the overlooked state of North Carolina back on the rap game map again. Lots of symphonic instrumentation, rapid-fire hi-hat trappiness, and sub-sub-sub-bass tones. The vocal overlays on the tape’s choral hooks are so fucking choice, too. Tip-top-tier output from JK and Greensboro’s FANG collective. Shoutout to some exquisite featured rappers from Raider Klan and Speakz.
Stream this shit in the office, bruh. Play it to an empty parking lot and magically transform it into a function.
Rush Hour 3 on DVD. Oreo Milkshakes. Burgers with the bacon and the guacamole. Gloryholes that actually have women on the other end. Yung Lean really enapsulating that sixteen year old mindset. Fucking Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for the late nineties babies. “Oreomilkshake” got the dreams, the indulgences, the hours spent being a jackass and watching shit like The Holy Mountain. This is a real emotional number right here, motherfucking Streisand and shit. Dude surfing a wave of audio nostalgia that yung gud shorty calls a beat. We got a number one hit single on my goddamn iPhone soundcloud app right here. Catch me whipping a zipcar through Flatbush in slow motion later this summer. Frosty in tow. “Oreomilkshake” on blast.
Yung Lean’s debut album Unknown Death 2002 drops in July on Мишка Records.
“N64″ is the third single off Denzel Curry’s highly anticipated “Nostalgic 64″ album, which is coming soon and is surely going to be epic. The lyrics on this track are so on point and send chills down my spine every time I bump this track. I’ve been a fan of Zel since the beginning and it really is a beautiful sight seeing an artist grow with every project, which to me is what it’s all about and he has definitely hit Super Saiyan level on this one. I truly can’t wait to hear what the whole album is going to sound like.
This song sticks to the topic of Nostalgia with lyrical topics and punchlines that vary from D.I.T.C., Rocket Time, OJ’s, The Joker, Samurai Jack, Casey Anthony and plenty other cultural references, and there is nothing boring about this track here. Zel is going beast mode all over the Nuri & POSHtronaut (of Metro Zu) aka N/P instrumental and the production level is most definitely top notch. I predict “Nostalgic 64″ to be one of the hottest albums of the year and Zel and all the BRK are definitely on the rise to stardom. Bump this loud and put all your friends on it too because Denzel is soon to be a household name and then you can say “I told you so”.
A veteran of the nascent UK hip-hop scene since long before the emergence of grime, Juice Aleem in fact helped to preface the coming bass revolution of the early noughties in his work with Shadowless and Gamma. He first appeared on the Luke Vibert-produced track Misanthropic, under the name Alpha Prhyme. A core member of the first wave of rappers and producers to sign to Big Dada, he has appeared on cuts by the likes of Evil Nine, Hexstatic, DJ Kentaro, Adam Freeland and Roots Manuva.
He joined New Flesh for their 2006 album Universally Dirty, which took cues from grime, dubstep, ragga and soundsystem culture, and traded some outstanding verses with Toastie Taylor. He has also been a member of Mike Ladd’s Infesticons, touring and performing regularly with Ladd over the last couple of years, and appearing as a guest vocalist on their Bedford Park album.
Although a regular guest on other people’s joints, it wasn’t until 2009′s Jersalaam Come that Juice Aleem unveiled his own sweeping, sometimes mystical, often cosmic vision of the world on tracks like Kunte Kinte Tardiss, and the futuristic electro of Rock My Hologram. Combining gritty and realistic observations on life, race, politics and hip-hop culture with ruminations on alternate timelines, theoretical physics, speculative future visions and the nature of consciousness, his full-length debut proved without a doubt that he was one of the most unique voices in UK hip-hop.
“Sci-fi is pretty much un-manifested reality. If it can be thought, it will usually come to be… Sci-fi is real. I write reality.” - Juice Aleem
This month Juice Aleem returns with a superb new single produced by Roots Manuva, and its futuristic video. In this exclusive interview, he announces his next solo LP, the much-anticipated follow-up to Jerusalaam Come.
Texture: You’ve been away for a while – what have you been up to since Jerusalaam Come? Juice Aleem: I’ve been back to being an Infesticon for most of that time, working with Mike Ladd and travelling the Earth. We had an album out called Bedford Park in 2010, toured that quite a lot through Europe. Had a few things out with Sir Tomz & Jailhouse Records and featured on their album too. Made a few short films. Recorded an album, I didn’t know what to do with it, that eventually morphed into the upcoming album Voodu StarChild. Love, gain, loss and family are always there to soak up any time not busy creating.
Texture: You’re on a new label – Spinning Compass. How did you come to work with them? Juice Aleem:It’s a collective, it’s a We, and that We had already made moves with the HLI EP Omniglyph and was looking to make more moves. Having spoken to a few labels and not hearing what I wanted to hear I just left everything for a while. You get let down a lot in this life and I had a hard time trying to put music together until changing the thought to one of doing for self. A later conversation with the newly formed Spinning Compass guys turned the I into a We and here we are.
I’ve known everyone for some time so chats about life became chats about release dates. Being a so-called legend has it’s downsides, as everyone just expects excellence without seeing how much work goes into getting there.
You got all these ‘positive’ people around you telling you to ‘just go get it’ and never actually showing how or helping out. They expect you to be amazing at every second while taking from your ideas and rarely helping to refuel you. That’s why we need to take breaks. Sometimes you just need that change of energy, and a person to take more of an interest in what it is you do. Spinning Compass showed that interest.
Texture: Lightbikes features production from Roots Manuva – are you still close to the Big Dada family? Juice Aleem:Everybody’s still cool, it’s a family that doesn’t see all it’s members as often as it did before. I knew all of Shadowless before and people like Rodney and TY were already linked to us through the London hip-hop scene before Dada existed.
New Flesh I met previously through the graf world. Big Dada was a great crystallizer for a lot of us who were mostly aware of each other, but it gave us a collective roof. I make a point of still checking for people from time to time and it was at one of these rap coffee mornings that Roots presented a bunch of music for me to use that he had just made on a plane journey. MoorKaBa was the beat he thought I’d be least likely to use.
Texture: Lightbikes addresses some science fiction / dystopian themes and almost feels like a thematic follow-up to Rock My Hologram. What inspires you to write futurist hip-hop like this? Juice Aleem:MoorKaBa is kind of a follow up to Hologram in that it’s dealing with Light and how we perceive the universe. It’s far from dystopian. In fact it’s the opposite, it’s more about the potential being able to utilize the potential within. Being aware of your inner light in the darkness of you, taking that and being able to travel to any desired point in space/time.
When I first heard the music I saw the bikes in Tron coming off the grid and being able to just keep going. I could hear Ezekiel’s wheel revving up. Ben from Greatcoat films [director of the video] also helps give it that similar feel, as he directed Hologram and has done a great job on both. He’s amazing at being able to visualize the blueprints I had drawn up.
Sci-fi is pretty much un-manifested reality. If it can be thought, it will usually come to be. There are temples in Egypt with what look like lightbulbs, aeroplanes and reactors inside. You see it later in people like Leonardo Da Vinci, then later we get on a jet to go holiday. Sci-fi is real. I write reality.
Texture: I’ve always admired the intelligence and politically informed weight of your writing – do you feel your your passion for knowledge has helped or hindered you as a hip-hop artist? Juice Aleem:Thanks man, much appreciated. I feel my passion for knowledge has made me a better hip-hop artist but might have not done so well for me on a commercial level. It’s made me a greater human though, so that kind of out weighs a lot of things. What I was doing on New Flesh’s Wherever We Go will stand for the simple fact that there’s a few people who love that verse. What’s needed for me is to keep aiming to the youth; every time I do I win. Music like mine does seem to be kept away from young people though, so that’s something we have to correct.
Texture: What’s next for you – are you working on a full album for Spinning Compass? Juice Aleem: Yeah, looks like this album will be coming very soon, just gotta get a few more mixes done and it’s all systems go. Look for this to come out on Spinning Compass in a few months or so. I’ll drop a few more videos and keep it moving. On board we have Ebu aka Blackitude who is a legend for production and a real vocab don, Neurotic Nate from the West Coast, Mr Roots Manuva, Bristol’s Ben One, HLI and a few more surprises. Gonna get you equipped for the summertime.
Texture: Who are some of the other artists involved in Spinning Compass that we should check out? Juice Aleem:Right now there’s obviously HLI, myself… 4th Lord should have something poppin’ very soon and Blackitude has just signed up to the roster as well. Poet / MC The Ruby Kid has a few joints coming and there’s going to be a few producer projects too. Keep an I out.
If you’re into the revival of 90s internet culture—shitty computer graphics, animated gifs, neon colors etc—Jerome LOL‘s newest AOL inspired mix “A/S/L” is perfect for you. It starts with a really house-y feel, which is a cool soundtrack for talking to hot boys/girls on the internet, that always turn out to be not hot old dudes. Before you know it, you’re listening to straight up jazz. Quick detour, but still the vibe remains chill, weaving in and out of relaxing tunes from days past.
The nearly hour long mix is perfect for the upcoming warmer weather that spring promises. It definitely points to a period where youth wasn’t just sitting on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. This was a time when people put away messages on, it meant they were out doing something. Jerome LOL is encouraging you to do something besides sit in bed all day. So get up, put on some shorts, and go on a fucking walk or something and play this via hiptop. It’s time for spring.